Lake St. Clair to New Norfolk

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Today we were heading back to the Colonial heartland of Tasmania, and this photo is of the Bonte Lagoon which is a popular trout fishing spot. We passed through the town of Hamilton and then drove towards Bothwell. At last I had the opportunity to stop the car and take photos of sheep. Fields of livestock are packed with animals, and these were sheep with their not-so-young young! And boy were they noisy when they saw us.

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Much of the pastureland here was brown but every so often was a swath of green. The farmers here use this long spidery contraptions which move across a field spraying water. We heard of one resourceful farmer who made use of his drone to look down on his land and identify patches of land needing extra water or more fertiliser. Then he could program his sprinkler to remotely deliver supplements to only those spots needing it. As a result, he has one of the most productive farms in the area.


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Bothwell was a delightful town, with quaint buildings, quite in the middle of nowhere. The street names were Scottish place names and the street signs had been painted in a tartan design, perhaps because it is on the River Clyde. This is the lake district of Tasmania.

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The local museum housed a History of Golf museum which was quite comprehensive. There’s a big golf course nearby at Ratho Farm. But what interested us was the poster summarising major historic events in the town. On 27th July 1849, there had been a pistol duel at dawn in the old cemetery behind the church. No-one was hurt though because the seconds had loaded the pistols with raspberry jam!

Before driving on to New Norfolk for the night (and more rain), we took a diversion to the Nant Distillery. Here Lawrence sampled four single malt whiskeys, all matured in different types of cask. And, although we were in the middle of nowhere in the heart of Tasmania, the five people having a chat this afternoon were all English! There were two other visitors who were now living in Sydney, and the barman from the UK with a Tasmanian wife. It seemed a fitting end to this journey around Tasmania because so many of the early settlers had tried so hard to make this place look like home. In many ways, this is old Britain but with the sun, and that’s just lovely.

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© Helen Gray 2021